What’s the Value of Keeping Your Employees Trained for Phishing Attacks?

Phishing attacks have increased over the years in both volume and severity, and now it’s the most prevalent cyberattack vector. This explains why phishing awareness training should be a key component of your cybersecurity measures.

According to Verizon’s 2019 Data Breach Investigation Report, more than a third of all cybercrimes are phishing attacks. Why? One, they are frequently used as entry points for launching other attacks. For instance, a bad cyber actor will need to first phish your logins before taking control of your systems. Two, and probably the main reason, is that phishing attacks are easy to orchestrate. They have higher success rates because they exploit the most vulnerable aspect of your cybersecurity – your employees.

Even with the most watertight phishing prevention protocols and measures in place, a poorly trained staff still leaves your corporate network susceptible to phishing scams.

What’s Employee Phishing Awareness Training?

A properly conducted awareness training goes beyond merely defining what phishing is. It should be all-rounded, helping your staff understand the following:

  • What are the different types of phishing?
  • How can they identify phishing emails?
  • How do they handle emails that request personal credentials?
  • How high are the stakes; how will a successful phishing attack affect your business and its affiliates?
  • You can also look at some recent case studies, their impacts, and how the affected organizations responded.

Essentially, phishing awareness training encompasses teaching your staff how cybercriminals launch phishing attacks, prevention measures, and fast-response protocols if the phishers manage to bypass your gateways.

Why Is Employee Phishing Awareness Training Important?

The simple answer is that failure to train your staff leaves your systems more vulnerable to phishing scams. A successful phishing attack on your network is injurious to your reputation and can cause massive financial dents in terms of lost revenue and recovery costs. According to IBM, a breach of this nature can cost your organization up to $ 3.8 million.

The bad news is that staff negligence accounts for up to 50% of all successful cyberattacks, and phishing scams are no exception. What this means is that a well-structured and precisely executed employee training program has the potential to reduce phishing attacks by more than half.

How Do You Conduct A Phishing Awareness Training?

  1. Educate Your Employees: Phishing awareness training starts with educating your workers on the basics of phishing scams, the accompanying risks, and how they can identify and prevent phishing attempts. You can deliver such sessions in boardroom meetings, recorded videos, video conferences, or written documents, depending on your organization’s culture.
  2. Launch Simulated Phishing Attacks: This step helps you gauge your training session’s success rate and your staff’s retention rate. You use fake phishing attack templates to measure your employee’s readiness levels. For instance, you can launch a simulated mass phishing campaign by sending all your workers a phony email with a link that redirects them to a fake phishing landing page.
  3. Reinforce The Training: Here, you first analyze the simulated phishing attack results. Which employees clicked the link? How many workers reported a suspicious email, and was it before or after clicking the link? You then use these statistics to identify high-risk areas, offices, or departments that need reinforcement and more training. You can also reconsider your training approach, i.e., which methods can you use to help them grab this concept better and faster.

Employee phishing awareness training should not be a one-time event. You can repeat the process over and over until you’re confident that your staff is well-prepared. You should have a regular training program that takes into consideration high-risk seasons, like during the holidays.

Phishing attacks are not going anywhere anytime soon. You cannot successfully prevent them by using a purely technical approach. Let SureTec equip your staff with strong cybersecurity skills training in Portland, Oregon, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

Get In Touch With Us Now for your initial phishing consultation.

Nick Hess is an authority for IT services in Portland, OR. Nick's team at SureTec IT has helped numerous companies with their day-to-day IT service needs. Nick also has years of experience with Google G Suite, Microsoft 365, and business VoIP Services.

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